boat registration - Coast Guard vessel documentation - yacht registry

New Jersey Boat Registration Summary

New Jersey boat registration summary is a free resource designed to inform the boating public about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of New Jersey. The data is maintained as an open wiki forum where readers are encouraged to participate by sharing knowledge and experiences with this particular state. Simply click on the "Wiki-Share" link to contribute further details or suggest a revision.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Boat Registration Agency New Jersey Boat RegistrationState of New Jersey
Motor Vehicle Commission

Boat Registration Website
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Registration Overview The State of New Jersey issues both registrations and titles for boats. These are administered through the Motor Vehicle commission in Trenton. Boat transactions are basically handled in the same manner as vehicles although requirements and exemptions may vary. Outboard motors are not titled or registered in New Jersey. Boat trailer registration is required on all trailers  and titles are issued for those weighing over 2,000 lbs.
 
There are approximately 153,372 boats registered in the State of New Jersey. This accounts for 1.4% of all nationwide registrations.
Marking Requirements New Jersey boat registration numbers begin with an "NJ" designation which is followed by four numbers and then two letters. These must be displayed on all non-documented boats along with registration sticker tabs. Coast Guard documented vessels may not display the state registration numbers. However they must display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. An official documentation number must also be affixed to a visible interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.
 
All vessels manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters "NJZ" are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Boats must be inspected by a New Jersey law enforcement official if there is a discrepancy with the hull identification number.
Registration Requirements Unless otherwise exempted, boat registration is required in New Jersey on all power and sail boats over 12' in length. Motorized boats under 12' such as jet skis must also be registered. Registration is required for Coast Guard documented vessels. A complete list of exemptions may be found by visiting the MVC website.
Ownership and Liens New Jersey issues titles on all registered boats except for those which are Coast Guard Documented. This state does not have provisions for bonded boat titles or conditional boat registrations where sufficient proof of ownership is not otherwise available. In these cases, an award of ownership must be obtained from a court of proper jurisdiction. New Jersey has procedures for titling abandoned boats.
 
Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Motor Vehicle Commission. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates when applicable. All titles with active security interests are sent directly to the secured party. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings.
 
Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk's office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic's liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats.
 
If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender's security interest must be perfected by filing a preferred vessel mortgage. These are recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center and priority is attained according to the date filed. Other maritime liens can be filed in the same manner although they function as notifications only. All mortgage and lien filings are indexed on the vessel's underlying abstract of title.
Title Searches Boat title and registration records in New Jersey are maintained by the Motor Vehicle Commission. This agency does not facilitate online searches for the general public due to strict privacy laws. However, record printouts may be obtained by an owner or otherwise qualified party by submitting a boat record request form. Although designed for vehicles, this form also applies to boats. It is also reported that MVC offices will provide telephone verifications on information shown on boat title or registration certificates in hand.
 
Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State. However, if there are any suspected state or federal tax liens, it may be advisable to use a public record vendor as they have a much broader access to such filings .
 
Ownership, mortgage, and lien search recordings for USCG documented vessels can be obtained by ordering an abstract of title and a copy of the certificate of documentation from the National Vessel Documentation Center. However, these are encoded and can be difficult to interpret, especially on older vessels with numerous recordings. It may be worthwhile to contact a professional vessel documentation company for assistance in this regard.
 
Non-recorded maritime liens may also be a factor when conducting boat title research in New Jersey. These include liabilities for items such as services, equipment, fuel, storage, parts, supplies, and damages which can become attached to the boat itself regardless of ownership. One of the most useful tools for doing this kind of research is our premier boat history search database. It is a gathering of eight nationwide databases into a single interface which can be searched by numerous criteria. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and documented vessels.
Resources Boat History Search Database
Boat Record Request
UCC Search
Public Record Vendors
Business Entity Search
National Vessel Documentation Center
Vessel Documentation Companies
Wiki Contributors New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

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Visit our database page for the nation's premier boat history report with a full compliment of title search resources. Includes eight maritime databases all rolled into one convenient interface. A must-have service for any prospective buyer, marine lender, or maritime professional.

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